Ukrainian refugee “stole” the heart of a British millionaire – He left his wife and children

Ukrainian refugee “stole” the heart of a British millionaire – He left his wife and children
Ukrainian refugee “stole” the heart of a British millionaire – He left his wife and children

He left his wife and children for the “eyes” of a Ukrainian refugee. But who are these… eyes? The Daily Mail reveals the charming woman who led the millionaire British businessman to radically change his life.

The 52-year-old investor and boss of the British loan company Wonga, Haakon Overly, had an affair with the Ukrainian when she moved to the couple’s Surrey estate after the Russian invasion. In fact, within a short time he decided to leave his wife, Imogen Overly, and his children and move in with his mistress.


Who is the Ukrainian refugee?

Exclusive Daily Mail pictures reveal the stunning Ukrainian refugee who seduced millionaire ex-Wonga boss Haakon Overly, who abandoned his wife and children, was a swimwear model in her country before arriving as a refugee in the UK Kingdom.

Photo by East2West New

39-year-old Maria Polonchuk, a mother of three, who once co-authored a Ukrainian cookbook, changed careers and became a model before war “struck” Ukraine and forced her to leave her homeland.

The Ukrainian refugee had moved to the UK with her three sons and moved into the Overley family’s £3million mansion in Surrey, south-west London.


Soon after her arrival in the UK, Maria appeared in a photo tweeted by local MP and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who wrote: “Wonderful to meet a Ukrainian woman hosted by a local family… Nothing more English from the village feast to welcome them.’

Photo from Daily Mail

Maria’s ex-partner and father of her three sons, Andrey Sheldunov, is a photographer in Kyiv specializing in portraits and nudes, and she has previously done stunning swimsuit shoots for his camera.

Photo by East2West New


Although it is unclear whether she and Andrei married, they were apparently long-term partners, as they have three children, 18-year-old Hrichori, teenager Maxim and 12-year-old Korney, who also took his father’s surname.

Andrei also co-authored the Ukrainian cookbook with Maria, while the pair co-owned a Kyiv-based company called Kontakt Media from 2006 to June 2022.

Ukrainian Maria with the father of her children, Andrei / Photo by East2West New

Overly’s company had pushed for refugees to come from Ukraine

Indeed, Norwegian-born Haakon Overly, the former boss of Wonga, which is estimated to be worth five million pounds, is said to have pressed the government to help bring refugees to the UK from Ukraine after the invasion.


It is alleged that as early as March, he began pressuring former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former Home Secretary Priti Patel, in order to speed up the process and bring Maria and her children to Britain.

A few months after the Ukrainian family was granted visas, the Ukrainian and the millionaire left the marital home in Surrey, along with her children.

Maria and Haakon Overli / Photo by East2West New and Daily Mail.
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